Last week's Budget again addressed and increased the tax levied on insurance premiums, which includes both Before The Event (BTE) and After The Event (ATE) Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI).
The 0.5% increase in Insurance Premium Tax follows a 3.5% increase of the same in November 2015 - taking the total to 10% for all LEI policies. Whilst one might argue that this is a decision in harmony with the Jackson reforms, which, for the first time in the UK introduced and encouraged Third Party Funding as a means of funding litigation, the increase has been criticised by the Bar Council as "a direct attack on the responsible consumer's wallet."
Whatever the case, it's always advisable to speak with your solicitor at an early stage about your options for funding the litigation process.
Although the last increase only took effect in November, George Osborne has announced that the standard rate of IPT will be increasing again by 0.5pc, bringing the rate up to 10pc. Pre-Budget there was speculation that a rise of up to 12.5pc was coming, so this is a smaller blow than might have been expected, but the increase will directly affect the cost of insurance.